There's fish in my what?!?!
13 May 2009 | Taylor Creek, Beaufort, NC (34*42.860 76*39.831) to Town Creek Marina, Beaufort, NC
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Well we went a whole mile and a half today to get from the anchorage in Taylor Creek to Town Creek. As we hauled the anchor in, and headed out we heard another boat hail the Beaufort lift Bridge for an opening only to be told that construction was holding up his opening. He couldn't bring the gates down to raise the bridge because traffic was backed up onto the bridge. So his 10:00am opening would not be opening (he opens on the hour and half hour). We could have stayed at anchor. The bridge tender said he might be able to open at noon if the road crews took a break at noon. He didn't seem too sure of this because they didn't take a break yesterday. If they didn't break again today, then it might be a wait until 3pm before the bridge can open. We moseyed up to the bridge and dropped anchor across from the other sailboat and waited for his first available opening. Traffic was flowing pretty well, first in one direction then the other. Stop, go, stop, and go... the line of traffic seemed never ending.
While at anchor, we watched a small skiff come by and one of the guys was pointing into the water. The other guy threw a net to where the first one was pointing and when he hauled it up, it was glittering full of silver fish. He had a big grin on his face as he looked at me. I yelled across to see what they were and he said mullet and Menhaden. He was in the baitfish today! I was impressed that he could see into this coffee, mud like water to see anything and then to haul a net of fish in like that was really something. Another little skiff came by and he shared his bounty with the other boat and let the rest go back into the water. A sea bird joined in the fest as he released them, and got a breakfast out of this bounty too. Beaufort houses the only N. Carolina menhaden fish factory still in existence. Menhaden are herring-like fish abundant along the Atlantic coast. They're used for their oil, protein and as fertilizer. Most people encounter menhaden in a lot of products without ever knowing it. It's used in margarine, sports drinks and many salad dressings. It's also in pet food, lipstick, vitamin supplements (omega 3), as well as in lubricants, paints and caulking compounds. While teaching, I used to give the students an exercise called "There's seaweed in my what?". I could now do another one called "There's fish in my what?" LOL
A shrimper came by and the bridge managed to open for him at about 10:45 and we filed through behind him. Yay! I hated to think we might be stuck there until 3pm... The bridges are supposed to, and usually manage to, open for commercial vessels and this one did despite all the construction traffic...
We got to the marina and the diesel dock and refueled but couldn't pump out because their well was full. We don't actually need the pump out yet but like to pump out whenever we stop and they have an available pump out. We don't want any problems with the head so it's a preventative measure we take when we can.
The marina is having a "Grand Opening" or reopening for their restaurant (Fish Tales) at 4:30pm for the City Council, and other town dignitaries, with all kinds of samples from the kitchen. We were going to be walking Beaufort though, so had lunch before we left for our walking tour. It's a very cute restaurant that showcases local artists work (that you can buy). The staff here is very nice and accommodating. I got the shrimp tacos (good) and Wayne got the ½ lb Chuckie Burger (also good). Then it was off to see Beaufort. They have many old homes with names and dates on them and the cemetery goes back to the Civil War. It's a nice old town with shrimping/fishing and tourism that boosts the economy.
The town of Beaufort, NC is the second oldest continuously occupied city in the United States. St. Augustine is the oldest, but it was under Spanish rule (all of Florida belonged to Spain) so if you're looking at strictly U.S. states, it's probably the oldest in U.S. history.